Reducing food waste (Jacqueline's challenge)
Well I'm a week into my Love Food Hate Waste challenge and I have to say it's not worked out quite the way I expected. I had been thinking I would be researching lots of what to do with scraps etc and being very clever with all my wonderful ideas but I've not been and I'm actually going to be really boring because the huge thing that I have been doing in this first week which I have to say has had an enormous impact is planning and shopping with a list!! If you had told me this a few weeks ago I would have rolled my eyes and thought oh no not another one..... However I attended the Love Food Hate Waste workshop held by the City Council and whilst feeling it was a little like a Tupperware party looking at storage options I went away thinking about the segment on planning and why do we store endless food and bulk buy when we just eventually throw a lot of it out. So I went through my larder, my fridge and freezer and discovered enough food to feed us all (5 of us) for several weeks - I gathered all the duplicate jars together, discovered barley that I didn't even know what to do with and I admit threw things out that were just too old to be useful. So why was I going to go shopping later that day and I have nothing in the cupboard to eat!!
I bit the bullet and planned all the meals for the next 4 days and then shopped only for what I didn't have. And much to my amazement shopping was quicker and cheaper. Coming home and knowing what to cook has made the whole cooking process much easier - if I know it's rice I put it on as I come in not dashing around at the last minute boiling it to oblivion. And even more surprising is that I am actually doing more cooking. I always thought that cooking needed to be spontaneous and by buying what was on offer and sorting out what to cook was the best and cheapest way but I have to say we have eaten better and cooked more this week.
At the end of the first week my green bin had no food waste in it, my bokashi has about a cup of food scraps, the peelings and tea bags have all gone into the compost and I have began o develop the most complex shopping list system on the planet.... but more on that next week.
Spring Challenges to Inspire you
We spent most of our staff meeting this week discussing what each of us wanted to do for the Spring Festival. Here are some examples of the things we've come up with. The options are practically endless...
Jill is going to be making music once a week. This was a fantastic example of how one person's actions can inspire anothers: Jill's challenge has given birth to Project Lyttelton's challenge: to learn a waiata that we can all sing together when we have visitors or want to feel connected through song.
Jacqueline, her husband and three teenagers, will be attempting to use all their food scraps during the festival month. Starting with inspiration provided through the Love Food Hate Waste campaign Jacqueline will be hoping to get others to join her in seeing what can be done at home and take the challenge of an empty green bin - have a look at https://lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz/ for ideas. Look out for updates about how it goes, and maybe some recipes!
Anne: "I need to walk more and sit less…oh and get our daughter to not just on time (scraping in like) but early, so knowing my nature, I needed my walking to be practical and involve someone else not just me, otherwise I’m less likely to do it! It’s amazing what great conversations can be had on the way to school and what you notice when not whizzing by in the car. We walked 5 days and Amber was early every day."
Teresa will be learning to cook healthy meals for herself, to treat her health conditions through nutritition, drinking water and looking after herself. Teresa says “I'm luckier than a lot of people out there.” Gratitude and positivity come naturally to Teresa, who always has a smile for people at The Garage Sale. Maria, from Lyttelton TimeBank, will be supporting Teresa by sending her a recipe once a week: Maria says: “I'll put a recipe on the FB page each week that she and anyone one else can cook. Then Teresa and anyone who tries the recipe can send in a photo and comments. The recipes will be designed for people living with Crones Disease.”
Margaret: “I am going to take at least 1 day a week off work and will do no more than 30 minutes on my computer that day. In that time I will garden, read, go to the movies, make music, do creative stuff, walk.”
Maria will be dressing in cheerful, colourful clothing. She's noticed recently how this brightens up other people's days, and how many people comment on how nice it is to see someone dressed cheerfully. Maris says: “It brightens up my day as well as other peoples.”
Claire: I'm keen to go Rubbish free, or at the very least reduce rubbish, I'm not sure I'll manage a month but I'm keen to try!!
Juliet will be going for a walk in nature for half an hour twice a week (or more). Juliet says that walking in nature, amongst trees and plants, under the sky, near the water makes her feel so much better than just walking down the street from her house to the main street.
Michaela is going to take on the challenge of weeding her flower beds, which have been neglected since the neighbours goat came through the fence and trampled them.
Otis and Louis will be visiting their grandparents, who live just up the road, every day.
Sue-Ellen will be writing a letter each week.
Jill will be walking instead of taking her “petrol-guzzling car”.
The goal of the Spring Festival challenges is not to succeed (ie to get it right every time, every day) but rather to learn and experiment, and to share our learning with others. We all have our natural cycles, our ups and downs, so be gentle with yourself. In the end, this should be a life-enhancing experience. If the changes aren't sustainable and enjoyable, then let them go and look at something else you want to do.